NOVA'S 96.9 NATIONAL DRIVE SHOW
Gin Society gets the lowdown on all things gin with one of Australia’s favourite radio personalities, Tim Blackwell. Most readers will know him as one of the hosts on Nova’s 96.9 popular national drive show, Kate, Tim & Joel.
What was your first proper introduction to gin?
I hate to name drop, but it was the Queen! I read her daily food-and-drink routine a few years back and I saw she has a G&T every morning at 11am – 70% gin, 30% tonic. It is a gin and tonic after all. I can’t say I get the 11am start over the line though…
What do you like about gin as a spirit?
It’s totally refreshing at any time of the day or night and, if you don’t think it is, you’re not making it right!
What are your current favourites?
How much room do you have? I’ve loved Juno recently. I also keep going back to RIVO, which I tried last year, and Garden Grown was a total standout.
Do you have a particular way you like to drink gin?
Most nights out I like to start with a Tom Collins or a straight-up Tanqueray martini with a twist. Some things are classic for a reason. But at home, it’s all about the tonic. I’m not that fussy, but a Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic with a lemon wedge is hard to beat. I’m not that into shoving too many ‘extras’ in the glass. Leave the basil leaves and rosemary sprigs for the garden.
If you could hang out and interview anyone over gin cocktails at your favourite bar, who would it be and where?
I have a lot of mates in the bar world in Australia, so picking one will do me no favours! But if I had to choose anyone, anywhere, it would be recently departed food and booze hero Anthony Bourdain at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles. He would insist on beer first – but they make a mean Tom Collins – and we’d talk for hours.
If you were stuck on a desert island, what three gins would you bring with you and why? Gordon’s, in case there are any drop-ins (always give guests the cheap stuff), Tanqueray for the cocktails and Archie Rose for the G&Ts.
What’s a really enjoyable gin experience that you’ve had?
Getting my first package in the mail from the Gin Society was pretty hard to beat!
What’s in your gin collection?
I’ve got the usual suspects for cocktail making. Then my fail-safes: Archie Rose, Four Pillars, Tanqueray No. Ten, The Melbourne Gin Company, Le Tribute, Hartshorn Sheep Whey from Tassie (to keep my Dad happy) and about 10 bottles with one or two sips left in them because I like how they look! My mother gave me a bottle of Kikka Gin from Japan designed to be sipped. The Japanese have a way of taking everything and perfecting it.
If you were a gin-based cocktail, what would you be and why?
Lots of ice and lemon-based that never keeps you waiting!
What do you like most about the Gin Society?
I get gin in the mail. Sounds pretty perfect to me! I just need to sign up to a Tonic Society and I’ll be set for life.